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WITH COTTON TIPS
By Carol Hurt, September 2003
was first used 7,000 years ago. It's the oldest known
fiber. It's a vegetable fiber now grown widely in hot
climates around the world. It's grown in 17 states and
.The UK considered cotton contraband
in 1720 because of the wool industry in that country.
It was repealed in 1736.
kinds of cotton - ELS (extra long staple) - and Pima or
Egyptian (finest grade)
treated with caustic soda and then stretched to be made
smoother, shiny in appearance, stronger and less shrinkage
is referred as "mercerized" because the man
who invented the process was John Mercer (Lancashire,
dye beautifully - multitude of colors
have thicker seams - use ½ stitch, mattress seam
stretch/shrinkage into account
- may use wooden needles
of ALL the insecticides/pesticides used in the world,
are used in growing cotton. Try organic cotton such
as Fox Fibre.
(extra large)- include your ribbing and use the colors (if
more than one) in your swatch to test bleeding. (do a swatch,
wash/lightly dry & dry flat to check) - black, navy
& red are especially prone to bleed.
Use 1 c. vinegar & cold water in rinse water to help
elastic thread in ribbing. (3 rows is good) or use a twisted
rib stitch (knit into back of each knit stitch).
can also try working rib in 3-4 size smaller needles, instead
of the usual 2 size difference.
gauge is best.
stitch is great for cotton.
"new" FrayChek for ends or whip to the inside
with matching sewing thread.
new skein - use sharp pointed needle to penetrate strands
and weave back in a u-turn.
wooden needles if yarn is slippery or splits. Some knitters
don't like to use a needle larger than size 6.
the Russian Join to join new yarn - http://www.knittinganyway.com/freethings/russianjoin.htm
to join new yarn at the seams rather than the middle, if
seams are bulky in cotton, so this is an ideal time to learn
the mattress stich.
doing intarsia, try using embroidery yarn or smaller yarn
to duplicate stitch. Be sure to tug/tighten at color changes.
garment will probably get shorter and wider. Swatch Swatch
dryer filter clean and use good softener sheets. Freshen
up in dryer between wearings
will become smoother the more you wash it.
using black, red, or navy colors - put 1 cup of vinegar
in rinse water or try RIT dye remover to take out excess
dye (this is a dryer sheet).
bleach, NO Woolite.
Tide is recommended or mild dish detergent.
warm water, turn garment inside out and leave buttons undone.
dry in dryer (can dry with a towel to absorb some heat &
protect it) - DON'T HANG. Some knitters dry partially then
dry flat or when ¾ dry then dry in dryer.
use a floor fan to dry sweaters in half the time.
(There are many fibers composed of cotton/silk, cotton/rayon,
Cotton Classic - 137 colors - 108 yards $4.50
Elite Newport - may split, heavy WW, mercerized,
vibrant colors, clear definition, 70 yds/$4.75
Falls 1824 Cotton - Easy to use, soft - unmercerized
- pleasing texture. 84 yds / $3.95
Cotton Silk Lily - High definition, shiny (30%
silk), soft - BUT grew ½ stitch per inch. 120 yds/$10/50
Sheep Cotton Fleece - has 20% wool which gives elasticity
and helps keep shape. Shows cables great. 215 yds/$7.75
Breeze - Excellent reviews - small 0.4% lycra
adds memory as well as the 30% wool to prevent stretching.
Only $3.35 a ball for 105 yards. 14 colors
are several knitting books that deal with cotton fiber.
I've found the following two to be useful in learning about
cotton tendencies, and they have some nice patterns.
Knitting - Edited by Sally Harding
Barron's - publisher
Collection - by Sue Bradley
Henry Holt and Company - publisher
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